Sunday, July 28, 2013

Morning Sickness Turned Me Into A Charlatan

I love Western medicine.

I am descended from a line of doctors, and while freshman Organic Chemistry slammed shut my misplaced dream of carrying the torch onward, it did not extinguish my love and respect for the modern medical community.

I want to see a doctor; not a nurse and definitely not a PA. Community college and some two year extension school doesn't give one the right to wield a prescription pad or wear a white coat.

I want prescription drugs prescribed and and lab work run.

I want to see the giant diploma in Latin with the initials "M.D" or "O.B" engraved on thick, indulgent cardstock.

I want to know in the event of an emergency, knowledge is being pulled from The New England Journal of Medicine, not the internet or Chinese folklore.

I want to be admitted, I want my vitals taken, and I want my baby birthed in a sterile room with lots of sharp, sterile tools nearby. And for the love of God, I want the epidural.

Now, those who feel just as strongly the other way will understand that one's position is not something that changes. It's not right or wrong; although I don't know how Harvard, Georgetown or Einstein Medical School could ever be wrong, it's just what you believe and part of your DNA.

Recently, however, I've become a ginger-consuming, Vitamin B6 taking charlatan. Last week, in the middle of a meeting, I took out a bag of gingersnaps and had a moveable feast that followed me to every other meeting. Last night, I stowed ginger-ale in my purse lest I not be able to rummage some up at our destination. Today, I started Vitamin B6 to contain this low-level nausea to its lowest point.

The only reason I can do this with any shred of self-respect is because the doctor told me to try these things before we whip out some good old-fashioned prescription drugs.

Ginger snaps, you've got six days left before you get replaced with something less tasty but more effective. Best of luck. I'm pretty sure I know how this ends.


  1. Ouch. As a PA, I'd like to defend my profession for just a second. It actually required a 4 year bachelor's degree (lowest GPA was 3.5 in our class of 50) followed by the toughest 3 years of medical training I ever could have imagined along with a year of rotations getting great hands-on experience. In my state at least, PA school is harder to get into than medical school with only 5-8% of applicants getting in. I know many PA's I would trust a LOT sooner than plenty of arrogant MD's I have met. Just my opinion.

  2. One last comment and I promise to leave this alone: I have spent countless hours poring over medical books and worrying and praying for my patients that I have treated. I'm smart enough to know how to treat them with meds and order testing and refer if needed, but even more importantly- I know when to ask for help. I provide excellent care and genuinely feel concerned for my patients. That is why comments like that sting. I've given up a lot for this profession and just expect people to be respectful. We are a vital link in the overburdened medical world.